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Elance-oDesk Lands in Australia, Appoints Kyri Theos Australian Country Manager

New Data Shows Australia is the Global Leader in Adoption of Online Hiring—235% Growth in Three Years;
Survey Results Reveal Hiring Problems for Businesses and Top Skills in Demand

Melbourne, Australia — May 1, 2014 — Elance-oDesk, a company creating online workplaces for the world, today announced its official launch in Australia. Led by Kyri Theos, Elance-oDesk now has an on-the-ground presence in Melbourne and Sydney. The company also released new data and survey results that show how Australians are helping to reinvent work as leaders in online work adoption.

“We are thrilled to officially launch Elance-oDesk here in Australia,” said Kjetil J. Olsen, VP International. “Due to connectivity and technology, work in Australia is being reinvented and shifting online—bringing job opportunities to professionals while also helping businesses progress by tapping into talent in the cloud.”

Announcement Highlights:

  • Elance-oDesk is officially launching in Australia, with a dedicated Country Manager and two City Managers (in Melbourne and Sydney). The company also plans to hire additional City Managers in Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane.
  • New data highlights that Australians are leaders in online work adoption.
    • In the last three years, Australia had a 235% increase in online hiring and Australian businesses spent US$145M in the same period.
    • Australia is the top online hiring country when adjusted per capita.
  • Australian businesses, hurting for tech talent, are turning online for the skills they need.
    • In the last 12 months, 40% of jobs posted by Australian businesses were IT & Programming and 26% were Design & Multimedia projects.
  • Survey results also show that 52% of Australian businesses plan to hire more online in 2014 than they did in 2013.

Australia is leading adoption of online work

As the talent gap in Australia grows, businesses of all sizes are seeking actionable solutions for closing it. Fortunately, with the increasing Internet access of the Connected Era, online hiring is now an option. In fact, Australia is leading the world in terms of tapping into talent via the cloud, as the top hiring country on Elance-oDesk. The country spends 2X more than the U.S. per capita. Additionally, there are 161,000 Australian businesses registered on Elance-oDesk, or roughly 8% of all businesses in the country.

Australian businesses face IT and design talent shortages, and are turning online to hire for these skills

Elance-oDesk examined hiring data from its database and found that technical skills, such as PHP, CSS, and HTML, are the highest in demand.

Design & Multimedia follows tech as the second most hired-for category. In the past 12 months, top skills in the category included: logo design, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Australian freelancers are fulfilling some of the local design demand, with 30% of jobs they worked over the last 12 months falling within the Design & Multimedia category.

Talent is often difficult to find locally

63% of Australian businesses surveyed agreed with the statement: “I found talent on Elance-oDesk that's hard to find in my local area.” Samuel Junghenn, founder of Think Big Online, an Internet Marketing Consultancy, is quick to acknowledge the growing talent gap in Australia: “It’s very hard to find people that are experienced enough to deliver results. I get more done working with my distributed team online than I could just with an entirely local team.” The study also found that respondents believe online work helps their businesses be more competitive (63%) and will soon be a common business practice (84%).

Future hiring expectations point towards increasing demand for content creation and online marketing

The shortage of talent in Australia is acute and spans areas beyond tech. Of those hiring online who were surveyed, 91% said that in the next 12 months they plan to hire the same or more freelancers than they did in 2013 (52% said more, 39% said the same). Skills these Australian businesses said they think will be most valuable are:

  1. Graphic designer/multimedia developer (57%)
  2. Web programmer/developer (55%)
  3. Writer/blogger/content creator (32%)
  4. Online marketer—SEO/SEM/Social media (30%)
  5. Administrative assistant (23%)

Official launch in Australia includes a local team

Australia will now be home to a permanent on-the-ground team headed by Country Manager, Kyri Theos. Kyri will be responsible for establishing Elance-oDesk’s long-term presence in Australia through collaboration with the local business, ICT and professional communities.

City Managers will provide local support. Kelly Tagalan will be the Sydney City Manager and David Hobson will be the Melbourne City Manager. Elance-oDesk plans to hire City Managers in Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane. City Managers will be involved in local startup, tech, and SME community events, and will serve as local experts available for advice on how to hire online.

Data Source Information / Survey methodology

All non-survey data is sourced from the combined Elance and oDesk databases, and represents data from 2010-2014. The survey was conducted online by Genesis Research Associates on behalf of Elance-oDesk in early 2014, among almost 600 businesses that had hired online freelancers recently. The sample was pulled from Elance’s and oDesk’s global databases of clients using the Elance and oDesk platform, respectively. The estimated sampling error is +/- 4. For more on the survey, contact press@elance-odesk.com.

About Elance-oDesk

Elance-oDesk is creating online workplaces for the world. More than 2 million businesses and 8 million freelancers tap into www.Elance.com and www.oDesk.com to work together via the Internet.

As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, talent—like software, shopping and communications before it—is shifting to the cloud. This shift is making it fast and easy for businesses to hire for the skills they need, when they need them, while freeing professionals from set time and place work. These freelancers offer any skill that can be done on a computer, from software engineering, application development and graphic design to copywriting, data science, customer service and more.

In 2013, work on Elance and oDesk totaled more than US$750 million. Elance-oDesk is headquartered in Mountain View, California. It launched in Australia in May 2014, with a new presence in Melbourne.


The PR Group
Cristina Whittington
+61 (0)481 353 692

Maya Rana
+61 (0)447 521 778

Amy Partridge